Fresh and fabulous lunches

School lunches and work lunches can be painful, but with a few tricks I make them cheap, fresh and fast. Call it laziness or severe budgeting, I like to think of it as being healthy, but my trick is to use seasonal fruit and vegetables, a little carbohydrate and sometimes a small treat. Eating the same thing every day wouldn’t keep my crew happy, so I mix it up a bit. Have the fruit and veg on hand. Sometimes it is as simple as putting an apple, banana, plum and a sandwich in the box. No chopping, no expensive packaged crap, just pure laziness!! Lo!! Here’s some ideas for fresh and fabulous lunches to inspire you!

Here’s light rye sandwich with carrots, sugar snap peas, mandarin, strawberries, blueberries, apple and grapes. My hubby’s lunch has a handful of almonds and dried cranberries too!

This is a simple lunch of apple, plum, grapes, dragonfruit and a honey sandwich.

These lunches  have seasonal fruits and veg of grapes, plums, apples, snow peas, carrots, cucumber, rockmelon, blueberries, some carbs and snacks. We love our dark chocolate and it makes the perfect little snack, same with homemade cookies!

Again with what is in season with some raspberrries, grapes, tomatoes, snow peas, carrots, pear, dried fruit for the boy and some wheat crackers. I was a bit lazy here…..

A little homemade snack is a lovely treat here!

Lots of seasonal fruits and veges going on here with a nice oat roll.

I’m not adverse to white bread! On this day some lucky girl got 2 treats! I’m looking forward to blackberries being back in season!!

So I hope this has in some way inspired you to stop buying the expensive packaged stuff and get lazy like me with whatever you can chuck together! The trick is to have them in the fridge or fruit bowl ready for you to chop or just put in the lunch box. Viva la lazy lunch!!

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Fresh and fabulous lunches

Sweet spud bake

This dish came to be because I’d made my Mexican spuds and had leftover roasted whole sweet potatoes. But it is so yummy that now I’ll roast the spuds just for the dish!

 

Ingredients

4 roast sweet spuds

¼ red cabbage

3 tbs rice malt syrup

3 different cheeses, about 100g dotted around

Parsley, chopped rough

 

Method

Wrap your sweet potatoes in baking paper and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for one hour.

All wrapped up and ready for the oven!

Mash the potatoes into a lasagne tray. Drizzle the rice malt syrup onto the top, and then sprinkle with sliced red cabbage. Now add whatever cheese you like to the top.

Mashing the sweet spuds straight into the tray.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for half an hour. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving!

Sweet spud bake

Sicilian chicken with cous cous

This is so simple but bursting with flavour! My family just love the simple cous cous base with the richness of the chicken in it’s sauce. Just perfect!

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thighs, sliced

1 red onion, diced

Few sprigs of basil, chopped

A lemon

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

Fennel seeds

Salt and pepper to taste (I used 15 whole peppercorns)

500 g passata

Olive oil

 

Method

Put a splash of olive oil in a pan and heat. Add the onion, garlic and chicken, frying for five minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the top and add the basil, fennel seeds and passata. Salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for half an hour and serve on a bed of cous cous!

Sicilian chicken with cous cous

Roast vegetables

It seems crazy to have a roast vege recipe, but some people don’t know how to do a good roast veg. When I was 16 I had to do the family cooking, and there were no blogs, and no recipe book had roasting vegetables – it was a given you knew – so this is for anyone out there who is like me; I had no idea but wanted to make nice hearty meals. You’ll be fine with this! Just remember the smaller the veg the hotter the oven and less cooking time. The larger the veg the lower the oven temperature and the longer the cooking time.

Ingredients

Whatever veges you have!

For this particular roast I used;

4 button squash cut in half

3 carrots, cut into half centimetre widths

A handful of green beans

5 potatoes, cut into pieces about the size of a whole walnut

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Here’s another version without the squash!

Method

Toss your veges in a drizzle of olive oil so they are nicely coated. Place on a roasting tray (you can pre-warm it before putting them on or line with baking paper). Now sprinkle some salt and pepper over them. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. If you like your vegetables bigger, chop them bigger! That will increase cooking time to 1 hour and degres the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius. If you like extra crispy spuds, I suggest boiling them first for a few minutes and then baking them under a high heat for 10 minutes – but that’s another recipe! I hope you like your roast veges, they truly are a great way to enjoy the flavours of the Earth!

Roast vegetables

Lazy pasta

Sunday lunches have to be quick to make and long to eat around here! But in being too lazy to do the groceries, I only had a few ingredients so this is what came of it. It is actually pretty nice and fresh!

 

Ingredients

200 g baby spinach leaves, fresh

1 punnet cherry or baby Roma tomatoes, sliced in half

Salt and pepper to your liking

Dash olive oil

200 g spaghetti

 

Method

Bring a pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt and your pasta. Once pasta is ready, drain. Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and add the pasta, tossing the oil through. Now add the spinach and tomatoes. Salt and pepper as you wish and you’re done. We smothered it in fine parmesan cheese – oh so yummy!!

Lazy pasta

Golden syrup dumplings

My mother made golden syrup dumplings a few times a year and I just love love love them!! I’ve made them for years, and now my son has been making them for years too! This is an easy recipe you can make your family with just a few basic ingredients in a short timeframe. Add to that these little darlings are completely sinfully scrumptious and you’ve just got to make some for yourself!!

Ingredients for the sauce

2 tbs butter

¾ cup brown sugar

125 ml golden syrup

100 ml milk

 

Ingredients for the dumplings

1/3 cup milk

100 ml golden syrup

2 tbs butter

1 ½ cups self-raising flour

 

Method

Put all the sauce ingredients together in a large saucepan that you have a lid for. Cook on medium heat until it boils and then turn it to low. In a separate bowl rub the butter and flour in together until crumbly. Stir in the milk and golden syrup intermittently. The dough will be sticky but able to be moulded by a spoon. Using a tablespoon, place heaped tablespoons of the dough into the syrup. This mixture makes us around 12-15 depending on how generous the tablespoons are! Once in the saucepan, simmer on low covered with a lid for 25 minutes. Serve with ice-cream and spoon extra sauce on top! Sometimes we drizzle melted white chocolate on the top – oh boy that is delicious! Enjoy this family favourite, we certainly do!

Golden syrup dumplings

Brussels bog

So we like Brussel sprouts! Confession time over! If you have a teenager or toddler who isn’t so into them, this will help them along because they are smothered in butter and bacon – winning!

Supplies:

500 g brussel sprouts

8 bacon rashers

60 g butter

Handful parsley

1 onion

Salt and pepper to your liking

Dash olive oil

 

Method:

Splash the olive oil into your pan and add the onion, saute. Now add the butter and the bacon and fry together. Whilst that’s going boil your sprouts for about 5 minutes on a rolling boil. Stir the bacon and onion mix and it will break up into little bits with the heat, don’t forget to season to your liking! Drain the sprouts and add it to the pan. Chop your parsley and add it in too. You should see everything take together, all the flavours mashing and having a party! Serve whilst still hot and enjoy!

Brussels bog